UK guitarist Ray Russell, a composer and studio specialist for much of the past three decades, broke cover for some dynamic live shows last autumn. He’s aided on a jazz-rock fusion programme here by gifted guests including Gary Husband (sharing the drumming with Ralph Salmins), and the excellent Jim Watson on keyboards. Naturally there are plenty of machine-gun melodies rattled out in unison, galloping drumming and wailing sustain-guitar anthems, and Russell the composer is so eager that some pieces restlessly bubble with sub-themes that could have been tracks on their own. But the leader’s own playing is strong as ever – eloquently nuanced in vocalised long tones, nailed to the beat on swerving fast runs. The Island mixes a wide-horizon melody and a fast funky one, Shards of Providence has a good raunchy hook, Slow Day is a slow bluesy thump with Watson’s Hammond whirring beneath, and Suddenly They Are Gone and Cab in the Rain are graceful rock ballads for Russell in Roy Buchanan mode. Rupert Cobb’s excursion into trumpet electronics – somewhere between Nils Petter Molvaer and 1980s Miles – on Odd Way Out sounds as if it was hastily conceived to vary the prevailing sound, but jazz-rock devotees will certainly want to hear Ray Russell out in the open more often.